‘Tis the season to give gifts to family and friends. And, what better way to show you care, then to give emergency preparedness gifts. The Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management (www.readywisconsin.wi.gov) has developed a list of its Top 10 Emergency Preparedness Gifts. Here is the ReadyWisconsin Top 10 List:
1) Emergency Weather Radio: A NOAA weather radio is like having your own emergency siren in your home. It is one of the best ways to protect your family in the case of a disaster. Emergency radios are a 24-hour source of weather forecasts, watches, warnings and other emergency information. You can purchase emergency radios for around $30 at most electronic stores, hardware stores and even neighborhood drug stores.
2) Winter Weather Survival Kit: Everyone should carry a winter survival kit in their vehicle. In an emergency it could save your life and the lives of your passengers. It should include:
- flashlight with extra batteries
- snack food including energy bars and raisins
- matches and small candles
- extra hats, socks and mittens
- first aid kit with pocket knife
- blankets or sleeping bag
- road salt, sand or cat litter for traction
- booster cables
- emergency flares and reflectors
- fluorescent distress flag and a whistle to attract attention
You can make your own kit or purchase kits at hardware stores and online retailers. And remember, each of these kit items make a great “stocking stuffer”.
3) Cell Phone Adapter: “Murphy’s Law”…the moment you need to use your cell phone to make an emergency call is the moment you have no power left in your battery. Giving someone a cell phone adapter to plug into a car lighter is a great way to say you care.
4) Home Emergency Kit: In an emergency, basic services (electricity, gas, water, etc.) may be cut off for days or even weeks. You may be stuck in your home during that time or evacuated at a moment’s notice. You probably won’t have time to shop or search for the supplies you need. That’s why it is important to have your own fully-stocked disaster kit ready. The kit should include items like:
- non-perishable food that doesn’t need electricity for storage or preparation
- flashlights with extra batteries
- first aid kit
- pet supplies
5) Enrollment in a CPR or First-Aid Class: Call your local American Red Cross or American Heart Association chapter to find a class near you or your loved ones.
6) Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Many people know that smoke detectors save lives in a fire. But did you know that carbon monoxides can save you from the “silent killer”. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be generated by improper ventilation of furnaces, generators and other devices. According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, with more than 20,000 people visiting the emergency room and nearly 500 killed each year from overexposure to the gas.
7) Fire Extinguishers: Give one for the kitchen, another for the garage, a third to keep in your car.
8) Foldable Ladder: Keep it near a second-story window for quick escape in a fire
9) Pet Disaster Kits: Your pets will need food and water in a disaster just like you. Leashes and a carrying case or crate for safer transportation and housing during a disaster is also a good idea.
10) Battery Powered Lamps: Not only great for camping but perfect in an emergency when the power goes out and you need a lot of light.